Little Rainbow Fish Free Knitting Pattern

Mar 23, 2016 | Knitting Pattern | 1 comment

fish free knitting pattern

As promised, here’s the pattern I created to knit the fish I showed you on Monday’s post. It’s the kind of pattern I love, because it looks complicated and sophisticated, but it’s totally easy, shaped entirely with simple increases and decreases. It’s knit in the round on double pointed needles, with tail and fins knit flat. There is very minimal finishing required.

knit fish easy pattern

Rainbow Fish Pattern as PDF

Rainbow Fish

Materials Needed:

~ 15m (15 yds) worsted weight self-striping yarn (make your own self-striping yarn)

~ scrap yarn in black

~ 4 double pointed needles size 3.25mm (US size 3)


~darning needle for finishing

A note about gauge: exact gauge is not important for a toy, however you should choose yarn and needles that combine to create a firm, stiff fabric, so that your fish holds its shape and the stuffing remains well hidden. This often means picking a needle one or two sizes smaller than that recommended on the yarn label.


CO = cast on

k = knit

kfb = knit into the front and the back of a stitch. An increase stitch

ssk = slip, slip, knit. Slip the next two stitches onto the right-hand needle as if to knit, stick the tip of your left-hand needle into both, and knit them together as one. A decrease stitch

k2tog = knit two stitches together. A decrease stitch

BO = bind off

Body and Tail

CO 6

Divide stitches evenly onto 3 needles, and join for working in the round

Round 1 (and all odd rounds through 11): k

Round 2: [kfb] six times (12 stitches)

Round 4: [kfb, k4, kfb] 2 times (16 stitches)

Round 6: [kfb, k6, kfb] 2 times (20 stitches)

Round 8: [kfb, k8, kfb] 2 times (24 stitches)

Round 10: [kfb, k10, kfb] 2 times (28 stitches)

Round 12: [kfb, k12, kfb] 2 times (32 stitches)

Rounds 13-21: k 9 rounds

Round 22: [ssk, k12, k2tog] 2 times (28 stitches)

Round 23 (and all odd rounds through 27): k

Round 24: [ssk, k10, k2tog] (24 stitches)

Round 26: [ssk, k8, k2tog] (20 stitches)

Round 28: [ssk, k6, k2tog] (16 stitches)

Transfer your stitches from 3 to 2 needles (first 8 stitches on one needle, next 8 stitches on second needle)

Stuff your fish

At this point, knit the rest of the fish flat


Row 29: [k one stitch from first needle and one from second needle together] 8 times (8 stitches)

Row 30 (and all even rows through 38): k

Row 31: kfb, k5, kfb, k1 (10 stitches)

Row 33: kfb, k7, kfb, k1 (12 stitches)

Row 35: kfb, k9, kfb, k1 (14 stitches)

Row 37: kfb, k11, kfb, k1 (16 stitches)

Row 39: ssk, ssk, k8, k2tog, k2tog (12 stitches)

Row 40: BO

Fins (make one on each side)

Pick up 4 stitches from the side of your fish

Row 1: k

Row 2: kfb, k1, kfb, k1 (6 stitches)

Row 3: k

Row 4: kfb, k3, kfb, k1 (8 stitches)

Row 5: k

Row 6: k

Row 7: ssk, k4, k2tog (6 stitches)

Row 8: BO


Weave in any remaining yarn ends using the darning needle. With black scrap yarn and darning needle sew on eyes.


That’s it!

I’m dying to see what other people’s fish look like, since everyone’s will look so different with each unique self-striping yarn. Show off your finished fish so we can all admire them on Ravelry, Instagram (#yarnbirdy), and Facebook (@yarnbirdy)

free fish knitting pattern


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